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The relationship between Aeroplan, the 3rd party loyalty program of Air Canada, and Air Canada is coming to an end. Luckily, there is plenty of time to adapt to the change since the relationship will be terminated on June 30, 2020. Air Canada has announced that they will not be renewing their contract with Aeroplan’s parent company Aimia. In the announcement, Air Canada has confirmed that they will be implementing their own frequent flyer program, which should give them more flexibility and options than they currently have with their partnership with Aeroplan.
While Air Canada has not announced any details of their new program, they did explicitly state in their announcement that they are still committed to working with Aeroplan through the end of their contract. With nearly three years of lead time, there should be plenty of time for travelers with Aeroplan Miles in their accounts to maximize their value, explore some of the best Aeroplan Sweet spots or even how you can book Aeroplan fares while avoiding dreaded fuel surcharges.
Needless to say, Aeroplan is not overly impressed with the termination of its partnership with Air Canada. When the company reported its first-quarter profits for 2017, Aimia announced that “Aimia strongly believes that a renewal of the company's long-term partnership would be the best and least disruptive option for both companies' customers, in particular, Air Canada's frequent flyers. While Aimia remains open to further discussions with Air Canada, the company's strategic planning had already contemplated other post-2020 alternatives in parallel with the goal of ensuring that Aeroplan members retain access to a strong redemption offering around air rewards in the future. Given the state of current discussions, we will continue to pursue these alternatives actively.”
In the long run, this should be good news for Air Canada frequent flyers, with more opportunities for redemptions as Air Canada expands its strategic partnerships. On the other hand, there might be some inconvenient changes, such as transfer partnerships, since currently, Aeroplan is a transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Rewards. Whether this carries on with the new Air Canada program or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, you have just over three years until June 30, 2020, to enjoy and maximize your benefits from the Aeroplan program.
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